My decision to seek specialization in a clinical counseling program stems primarily from my belief in the healing power of talk therapy as a means of facilitating positive outcomes among people experiencing a wide range of emotional and mental difficulties. The role of a licensed counselor is to act as an aide, sounding board and healthcare provider for their patient, providing a much-needed support system and offering the kind of help that will bring about greater peace of mind and mental health. Obtaining a license in Family and Marriage Counseling fits in well with my particular priorities in the field of counseling.
I believe that entering into a marriage or starting/maintaining a family is one of the most difficult, stressful situations a person can experience, and that even the strongest families need occasional help in working through some of life's toughest problems and interpersonal conflicts. It is my hope that attaining a Family and Marriage Counseling license, as well as benefiting from the high-quality education that Capella University offers, will allow me to help couples and families stay together, or work toward a peaceful and healthy separation if that is what is needed for them. Regardless of the outcome, I firmly believe that, with the right education and training, I can assist in these difficult life changes in substantial ways.
While I do not have any formal experience as yet with marriage and family counseling, I hope to build up a substantial amount of experience through efforts such as volunteer work at mental health clinics, interviewing/shadowing existing counselors in the marriage and family field, and more. I have had personal experience with marriage and family counseling in my own counseling experiences, and found the process extremely therapeutic and helpful - to that end, I understand at least one side of the clinical counseling experience. I fully plan to introduce myself to the world of clinical counseling in a significant way as soon and as much as possible, though I hope to benefit from the advantages and expertise that the faculty and staff of Capella provide in this regard.
While I have no formal counseling experience, I believe I already have the interpersonal tools and skills necessary to interact well with patients and exhibit the fundamental attributes of a good counselor. I grew up in an extremely diverse neighborhood, so I have a great deal of experience interacting with people of different socioeconomic, racial, and national backgrounds; I am also experienced in interacting with young children of anywhere from 5 to 15 years of age (skills I believe are essential to family counseling). As for my professional goals, it is my ultimate desire to open a counseling practice in Pennsylvania catering specifically to family and marriage counseling needs for my patients and clients.To that end, I hope to complete my education in the next 4-5 years, shadowing and interning for other counselors in the same field before opening my own practice. In order to achieve state licensure in Pennsylvania, one year of practicum is required - this would require requesting an additional internship course at Capella, in which I am more than willing to participate.
My life up to this point has more than prepared me for the challenges and skill set required to become a Marriage and Family Counselor. In addition to my own experiences in marriage and family counseling, I have seen the benefits of this type of counseling in those around me. I have known families in my neighborhood who have stayed together as a result of this type of counseling, and couples who have achieved amicable, friendly ends to their relationships through the same process. Even in my own experiences with interpersonal difficulties and conflicts, I am often tasked with mediating and helping other parties to come to a mutual solution - skills I believe will benefit me as a counselor. Given my superb listening and communication skills, my sense of patience, and the benefit of a quality program like that which Capella offers, I am confident I can become a productive, beneficial counselor in the Marriage and Family subfield.